JAY-Z gives emotional speech at Trayvon Martin memorial event

JAY-Z gave an emotional speech at an event held in memory of Trayvon Martin on Saturday (10Feb18).

The unarmed 17-year-old was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida in 2012. Zimmerman was charged with murder, but acquitted at trial on self-defence grounds due to Florida's controversial stand-your-ground law.

To honour the slain teenager and other victims of gun violence, Jay, real name Shawn Carter, joined hundreds of marchers in Miami at the sixth annual Peace Walk & Peace Talk on Saturday, which was organised by officials at The Trayvon Martin Foundation.

The hip-hop star stood alongside Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, at the Betty T. Ferguson Amphitheater as he delivered a short speech.

"We want to make sure that we stand and support and never forget that Trayvon serves as a beacon of light to the people out here. So, you guys will never have to go through the pain and hurt that these guys (Trayvon's parents) went through," the 48-year-old said. "And his name will sit alongside the greats whom lost their lives to push our culture forward - the Martin Luther Kings, the Gandhis. That's the intention that we set, that his name serves as a beacon of light and hope to push us in a better direction, so thank you guys for your support. Thank you for being here."

Jay's appearance at Peace Walk & Peace Talk had not been publicised beforehand.

Last year (17), the Empire State of Mind hitmaker confirmed that he was producing a six-part TV series about Trayvon's life and death.

The programme will be based on two books; Lisa Bloom's Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It as well as Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, which was written by Trayvon's parents.

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